In every generation, Judaism has had its share of martyrs. Hannah Senesh, a Hungarian Jew and poet/writer of the profound “Blessed is the Match,” is one such example. A lesser known heroine is Gitta Mallasz, whose story and poetry is now being brought to the limelight by performer Shelley Mitchell, in “Talking with Angels,” now premiering at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Gitta Mallasz (1907-1992) was a Hungarian graphic designer, artist, and Olympic swimmer, but perhaps best known for her transcripts of extraordinary spiritual messages now enlightening audiences privileged to attend this performance.
Some precious sparks of dialogue in the play, actual excerpts from her book, “Talking With Angels,” include “when the love comes, the two become one. One cell dies; another grows.
Her account onstage is a chronological one, starting in March 1944, when Germany invades her beloved Budapest. A symbolic choir of angels hover over her and the Jews she’s protecting in hiding (Hanna Dallos; Joseph Kreutzer; and Lili Strauss) singing “choose life, truth, song, praise.”
Shelley Mitchell beautifully expresses poetic metaphors that one can tangibly visualize:
“The wedding of heaven and earth where
Bride and bridegroom are vessels of joy.”
The timeless message of the prayer Shalom Aleichem,” where messengers of the divine
reveal how “reason stops breathlessly where faith begins.”
Just as in “Blessed is the match,” a flame rises up, visibly seen through the kindled lights of a menorah onstage, as Mitchell contrasts the duality of fire and air, and states, “without a wick, a candle doesn’t burn.” We clearly see and understand the fire within and inner light of Gitta Mallasz, after all that she endured at this auspicious time, no fear, no filter.
She ends her show on a high note of hope: “May your mouth be closed if not declaring the truth… May your hands always be active…May your heart exude radiance.”
For show details, visit
Dorie Theatre 6472 Santa Monica Blvd
Thurs June 8; 7pm. Sat June 10; 8:30pm. Sunday June 11; 2pm; Tues June 13; 8:30pm. Friday June 16; 7pm. Sunday June 18; 6:30pm